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Passion produces results

15 May 2018 No Comment


Athletes who continue in their sport when they have achieved all one could dream of, but continue to perform at the highest level, obviously are not driven by money or fame alone. They have a deep love of what they do, and it’s not just the competition, it has to be a love of the whole process. The practice, the constant desire to improve technique, the pre competition rituals, the hard fought battles, all add up to the total experience.

Athletes like Roger Federer, Louis Hamilton, Valentino Rossi, who have been at the top of their game for so long, they could retire anytime and walk away a total winner, but they stay on performing at the top of their sports. It’s not money or fame that keeps them there, they have all of that, more than they need. It’s a love of what they do that keeps them in their sport.

Most of us know amateur athletes who manage to fit their love, their passion into a busy life, and keep going for years and years. These lucky people have found a love for the whole process. They don’t have any trouble getting out of bed in the morning, often they’re waiting for sunrise so they can get started.

When we watch an athlete, performing in a sport which they totally love, they make it look easy. They flow, there is no pushing to perform. To achieve that flow, that ease of movement we have to tap into the love of the game. The thoughts and feelings which flash through our heads during training affect the freedom of movement, the tension in our muscles.

When you’re flowing, there is no trying. One of the hardest things to master in endurance sport is to not switch from flowing to trying, when it starts to get painful. Once you start to try hard, it gets harder. The answer to going longer and longer at a decent pace is so simple, it doesn’t sound complicated enough for the average mind. The average mind wants the “secret” to be some carefully guarded secret, an imaginary key which will unlock their potential.

There is a key which will unlock a performance most of us only dream of. The “secret” is to stop “trying” and learn to flow. In order to flow we have to focus totally inward, not against anyone else, not taking times and splits, not looking at average speeds or power outputs. The real answer to endurance performance is to learn to love what you’re doing for a start. Then to link that love to being in the moment, living each minute, one minute at a time.

If you’ve learned to love what you’re doing your face will become relaxed, almost smiling when all around you are grimacing in pain. The ones around you grimacing in pain are focusing on their pain. You’ll be keeping thoughts simple, being aware of the breeze on your face, the rhythm of your breathing linking it to your running rhythm.

It’s inevitable that your thoughts will flash to outcomes at some time, accept this and go back to your simple thoughts, the breeze on your face, your breathing link, the feeling of the contact with the ground with each step. Be prepared for little things to come along and distract you from this state of mind, because they will.


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